YATE Town boss Rob Cousins has warned his side that they cannot afford to continue making slow starts after coming away with four points from the Bank Holiday weekend despite trailing 2-0 in both games.
After claiming a remarkable 4-2 win at Sholing on Saturday, the Bluebells came from behind again in their 2-2 draw at local rivals Mangotsfield United, which saw them lose top spot in Division One South & West of the Southern League to AFC Totton.
They fell behind after just seven minutes at Cossham Street when Joe Chandler played a suicidal pass along the back line, allowing Lewis Powell to score.
Cousins said: “We can’t keep doing this. We mentioned before the game that the first 15 minutes are important so to concede the goal we did with a sloppy pass after seven minutes is ludicrous.
“We’ve got to address this as a team because we can’t keep coming back from 2-0 down, no matter how good we are or how fit we are, we’re not going to keep getting out of jail. We’ve got to learn quickly.
“In the second half we showed our resilience where we kept going and we could and probably should have won it.”
Yate remain unbeaten, having taken 14 points from a possible 18 so far, but are yet to score in the first 40 minutes of any game.
Cousins said: “It’s a great return. We would’ve taken it at the start of the season with the teams we’ve had to play.
“We’re a good footballing side but we’ve got to retain the ball better.”
Both sides finished the game with ten men as Mangotsfield had Mitchell Page sent off in the first half, while Jordan Rogers saw red for Yate with 15 minutes to go, before Andy Lewis scored a late equaliser from the penalty spot.
Cousins said: “I don’t think Jordan had anywhere to go but apparently he slightly raised his foot.”
The Yate manager revealed his decision to take off Lewis Haldane with 30 minutes left was tactical.
Meanwhile, defender Billy Fletcher has re-joined Cadbury Heath after struggling for first team football so far this season at Yate.
Mitch Tippins (hamstring) was left out as a precaution at Mangotsfield but could be back in contention for the FA Cup preliminary round tie at Cowes Sports on Saturday.
Rob Perry (Achilles) remains sidelined, while Jake Cox is still awaiting a scan on his broken arm and may need an operation, which could keep him out for months rather than weeks.